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MIT Climate CoLab Offering $10K for Solutions for Energy, Emissions, Shifting Climate Change Attitudes

Image credit: SunSaluter

While nearly every country in the world – along with many companies, cities, regions and other organizations – has outlined goals for addressing climate change, there is still much work to be done to create the detailed implementation plans to actually achieve these goals.

In this spirit, MIT Climate CoLab, a global, web-based community designed to pool intelligence in a manner similar to Linux or Wikipedia, is launching seven new contests.

Winners will be invited to MIT to share their work, and will become eligible for the $10,000 Grand Prize to be selected from among winners across all seven contests. Award winners and finalists will receive wide recognition and platform visibility from Climate CoLab. Previous winners have included SunSaluter, a rotating solar panel that generates 30 percent more electricity than a standard panel and four liters of clean drinking water each day; a policy mechanism for internalizing marine emissions that combines charging a levy on emissions from international maritime shipping, with a fuel levy on fuel consumption by domestic shipping; and a national campaign on energy conservation and renewable energy in Indian schools that is working towards building a network of energy ambassadors.

Deadline for proposals is September 10, 2017.

Since its launch in 2009, Climate CoLab's open problem-solving platform has grown into a community of over 85,000 people from all walks of life — including more than 300 of the world's leading experts on climate change and related fields — who are working on and evaluating plans to reach global climate change goals.

Thomas Malone, professor of management and founding director of the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence at MIT Sloan School of Management, stresses that competitors don't need to be climate scientists to participate in the competition; rather, ideas and collaboration are key.

"People from all walks of life — for example, policymakers, artists, engineers, students, or retired professionals, among others — all have valuable insights to offer and are invited to enter the contests on their own or with a team. Alternatively, they are welcome to form teams with other members of the Climate CoLab community," Malone says. "Ultimately, it's a great opportunity to articulate one's views to a broader audience. And it takes a broad combination of people's skills to create results that work."

The new contests fall into seven categories:

  • Land Use: Agriculture, Forestry, Waste Management: What initiatives, policies and technologies can significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions from land use change and waste?
  • Transportation: What initiatives, policies and technologies can significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector?
  • Buildings: What initiatives, policies and technologies can significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions from buildings?
  • Carbon Pricing: What initiatives, policies and strategies can advance carbon pricing?
  • Energy Supply: What initiatives, policies and technologies can significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the energy sector?
  • Adaptation: What initiatives, policies and technologies can help prepare for and adapt to the impacts of climate change?
  • Shifting Attitudes and Behaviors: What initiatives and strategies can mobilize individuals and societies to shift attitudes & behaviors to address climate change?

All participants are invited to join the community, find others interested in similar topics, and submit new proposals or build upon those already on the platform.

Proposals are reviewed by international experts who participate as contest judges, as well as graduate students or young professionals who participate as contest fellows. Everyone who participates is also invited to vote for the proposals they think are best to help select Climate CoLab's Popular Choice Awards.

To learn more, please visit: https://climatecolab.org/contests


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